Opponent Of Boxer Who Died After Suffering Brain Injury In Ring Has Had Suicidal Thoughts Over Abuse
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Boxer Siphesihle Mntungwa has revealed he is experiencing suicidal thoughts in the wake of Simiso Buthelezi’s death.
Mntungwa fought Buthelezi on 5 June, however their match was called off in the 10th round after Buthelezi, clearly disorientated, started swinging into thin air.
Buthelezi was subsequently placed in an induced coma but sadly passed away on 7 June.
In the wake of Buthelezi’s death, Mntungwa has said he’s been inundated with online abuse and is ‘unable to take any more’.
Speaking to Sowetan Live, Mntungwa explained: “I came into heavy criticism and received insults on social media platforms when Simiso was hospitalised; it has taken another level now that he has passed away.”
He added: “I just can't take it anymore. One thing is left for me – I am going to kill myself. Even my neighbours have posted very ugly messages about me on social media. I am no longer safe.”
Mntungwa also insisted that he ‘did not kill Buthelezi’, saying: “All I wanted was to win the title, which maybe was going to help change my life and that of my family.”
The sportsman also revealed he is the only person working in his household and lives with his younger brother, aunt and his aunt’s children.
Mntungwa’s mum died when he was just four and winning the title would have helped his family out financially.
Mntungwa added: “It is sad and very painful, but I did not go into that boxing with an intention to kill him.”
Buthelezi looked to be heading towards a decision victory at Greyville Convention Centre last weekend, having maintained his undefeated record of 4-0.
After sending Mntungwa falling backwards through the ropes, Buthelezi started swiping at thin air.
The referee swiftly called off the fight, handing Mntungwa the WBF African lightweight title – though the belt ceremony was postponed.
Announcing Buthelezi’s death, a joint statement issued by Boxing South Africa and his family read: "It is with great sadness for Boxing South Africa and the Buthelezi family to announce the passing away of Mr. Simiso Buthelezi who passed away last night 7 June 2022 at hospital in Durban.
"On 5 June 2022 Mr. Buthelezi participated in a Boxing Tournament hosted by Starline Boxing Promotions at Greyville, Durban.
"Towards the end of his bout, Mr. Buthelezi collapsed and was taken to hospital and it was discovered at the hospital that he suffered a brain injury which resulted in internal bleeding.
"At the hospital Mr. Buthelezi was given the best care possible but he however succumbed to the injury last night as aforesaid."
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123